I wake up each morning with grand plans. I’m going to finish this, photograph that, add this to the website, publish that post, play this with the kids and clean that in the house. I start my to do list, adding things one by one. As the day begins, I get to work checking things off as I go. And then the mid morning slump hits and the motivation I woke up with is long gone.
Around 10am, one little is down for a nap and the second is playing quietly. This is the time of day when I can get a good chunk of work done but there are so many days where my motivation has vanished. By this point, I’ve been up for 5 hours, have (hopefully) worked out, played cars, colored, washed one and folded one and cleaned up the kitchen. I usually just want to sit on the couch, watch a show and put my feet up. The problem is that I have work to do. Work that needs to be done and if I don’t get the bulk of it done during this time, I end up having to do it when both kids are awake which is more stressful for me and also takes away from my time with them.
Stretching myself too thin is something I’ve been guilty of for far too long. In those moments of overwhelm and struggle with no motivation to start, I’ve found some things that help me get out of the funk.
Be realistic with your time.
I always seem to think I can get more done in an hour than humanly possible. There are many mornings where I think I can do x, y and z before we have to leave the house. While many of the things I think I can finish don’t take long, I never account for the little distractions that happen or how long it actually takes to pack up the kids and get them loaded in the car. Now, I focus on one thing to get done before we leave the house. Just ONE at a time. While multi-tasking may get more accomplished, I wouldn’t put my all into one task which can resulted in subpar results. I also had to learn to say NO, which is still a work in progress. When I looked back at some of the things on my daily lists that were adding stress, it was things that I said yes to that I shouldn’t have.
Make a shorter list.
I’m an over planner by nature. It is one thing that drives my husband crazy. I have lists among lists among lists in my house. I need to write things down to keep them for being forgotten. I also love crossing things off a list, it definitely helps motivate me to get things done. One thing that I’ve changed over the past few months is shortening my to do lists. I keep a long list of things I want to get done for the week and pick a few of those each day for my daily to do’s. If I get everything done, I add more. The shorter list makes things less overwhelming, which helps make me more productive.
Put on some music.
Pandora is a must when I’m working at my desk. Just like music motivates me for my runs, it also motivates me to work. Listening to my favorite songs and artists relaxes me and clears my head. When my head is clear, I’m more productive.
Grab your favorite drink and snack.
You know I love my coffee, especially Starbucks. It’s amazing what a hot cup of coffee can do for me when I sit down to work. That first sip is like a breath of fresh air.
Take a break.
There are some days where I do take that break. I do put my feet up and watch a show. When I do give myself that time, I always make sure to put a time limit to it. If I want to watch a show and relax, it’s one show and that is it. After that much needed me time, it’s easier to get back into the work mindset.
Stay away from social media.
Facebook is such a time hog for me. I usually log on when I sit down to watch TV at night and there are nights I look up and an hour has passed. I couldn’t tell you what I just looked at for the past hour but I can tell you that I didn’t get anything accomplished that I should have. The nights I get the most done are the ones where I steer clear of social media.
This year I’ve started setting a timer for particular tasks. I give myself 20 minutes to check email twice a day, 2- 2 hour time blocks to focus on orders each day, 15 minutes for IG twice a day and even 10 minutes to respond to text messages. When these timers are set, I am only focusing on the task at hand. It’s amazing what you can get done and how quickly you can without any distractions.
Start with the most dreaded item.
If there is something that I’m dreading, I am less motivated to get started on the task. I’ll put it off until it’s the last minute. When I tackle the dreaded item first, I am more motivated throughout the day and already feel accomplished for checking that one thing off the list.
Clean up your work area.
I work best in an uncluttered and clean area. The more cluttered my work area/ office is the more overwhelmed and less focused I am. On days where I don’t know where to start or can’t find motivation, I’ll clean up and light a candle. Both of those things help clear my mind which in turn helps with my motivation.
Celebrate your success.
Treat yourself at the end of a day. Treat yourself when you complete something that you’ve been dreading for a while. Motivate yourself with a reward for when you’re done. Whether it’s a night off, a manicure, some shopping or a sweet treat. Do something to celebrate a job well done, you deserve it!
Do you have any tricks to finding motivation when you just don’t know where to start or what to do?